Showing posts with label dunedin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dunedin. Show all posts

Monday, April 7, 2014

Sir David Alexander Cecil Low (7 April 1891 – 19 September 1963)

David Low photograph from The Political Cartoon Gallery.

Today marks 123rd anniversary of the birth of one of New Zealand's most influential political cartoonists, David Low. Born in Dunedin and educated in Christchurch, Low sold his first cartoons at 11 to The Christchurch Spectator. Low worked for a variety of papers throughout his teens and twenties before moving to Sydney in 1911. After a career in Australian newspapers in 1919 Low moved to England where Low's cartoons in British papers proved an immediately success. Low's antipodean upbringing and attitudes provided a satirical bite in his work in contrast to his peers whose work was still rooted in staid Victorian society. Before and during World War Two Low's stinging depictions of Adolf Hitler and Mussolini led to his work being banned in Italy and Germany, and his being named in The Black Book, a list of prominent Britons to be arrested upon the successful invasion of Britain by Nazi Germany.

From Dr Timothy S. Benson essay on Low.

"A few months later, Bruce Lockhart, as foreign correspondent of the Daily Express visited Germany to interview Hitler. During the interview, Hitler surprisingly mentioned Low in conversation and was full of praise for him in his mistaken belief that the cartoonist's attitude was anti-democratic because of the way he derided politicians and parties in his daily cartoons. According to Low: "At the time I was upbraiding democracy rather drastically for its attitude to European events and Hitler got the impression I was anti-democratic." Hitler then asked Lockhart if he could arrange for Low to let him have some originals to decorate the Brown House, the national headquarters of the Nazi party in Munich. When Lockhart relayed Hitler's request to Low upon his return, the cartoonist obligingly sent a couple as from in his words 'one artist to another'.

Read full David Low essay by Low Historian Dr Timothy S. Benson.
Read New Zealand cartoonist/historian Alan Moir's essay on David Low.

Gallery of Low's work on Te Pikitia tumblr. 

David Low cartoons from the Billy Book.
The Billy Book: Hughes Abroad, collected 50 satirical drawings by Low about the wartime visit by Australian Prime Minister William Morris Hughes to Britain and the Western Front to attend the Imperial War Cabinet from June to August 1918. Copies of the book received by various English editors led to the book became a bestseller and critical praise.  This also led to Low moving to England to take a salaried job at the London Star newspaper in 1919.

David Low cartoons reprinted from British papers in Australian newspaper The Worker (1921).


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

More Ernest Heber Thompson Cartoons From The Sketcher

I previously wrote about the work of Ernest H Thompson here.

From The New Zealand Truth 6 June 1914 a review of the third issue of The Sketcher produced by Dunedin cartoonist Ernest H Thompson.

Artist Thompson has just published no. 3 of "The Sketcher," a casual, but worthy, album of clever caricatures of Dunedin's dour denizens embellished by various verse and pointed prose. The elusive ads have been well snared and arranged artistically, and should easily pay the printer's bill. We have not previously seen much of E. H. Thompson's black and white, but the present number reveals a prospective Phil May.

Ernest H Thompson illustrated advertising form the back cover of the Sketcher #2
From the New Zealand Truth issue 546, 4 December 1915 an article on Ernest Heber Thompson departing New Zealand to serve in World War Two. 

For The Front

On Thursday of last week Mr Ernest H. Thompson, the well known and highly-popular Dunedin artist, left with the 10th reinforcements for Trentham, where he is now undergoing war training, preparatory to tackling "the real thing". Mr. Thompson, though quite a young man, is one of Dunedin's most talented artists. In all-round black and white, and especially caricature, Mr Thompson easily leads in the far southern capital. His spicy, hard-hitting magazine, "The Sketcher" will be missed. No spasmodic critic was ever more welcomed. With a brimming future before him, and endowed with talent and youth, Mr. Thompson has risked all to serve his King and country on one of the far-flung battlefields where Britain's tattered but waving banners flutter defiantly in the teeth of a hostile gale. At great personal sacrifice he has torn himself from his parents home and assured prosperity 'to do his bit'. May luck and glory attend him. "Truth" knew him well and appreciated his work, and trusts it shall be our duty to add a leaf to the laurel circlet that shall await the return of the conquering soldier-artist.
Further selection of  Ernest Heber Thompson cartoons from New Zealand Magazine The Sketcher 1913.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Ernest Heber Thompson

Ernest Heber Thompson was born in Dunedin in 1892 and as a cartoonist was the first contributor to The Sketcher, a Dunedin magazine composed of illustration and humourous writing. Thompson taught at the Dunedin School of Art in the early twentieth century and in 1915 enlisted to fight in World War One, serving as a sergeant in the 3rd New Zealand Rifle Brigade. Whilst stationed in France from 1916 to 1917 Thompson completed a large number of cartoons some of which featured in the fortnightly soldiers‘ magazine , Chronicles of NZEF, and in the annual, New Zealand at the Front,  published during the final years of the Great War.

Badly wounded at Messines on 7 June 1917, Thompson was transported to England for convalescence and remained there after the War. Thompson exhibited widely, including at the Royal Academy and recorded his travels throughout Europe drawing many of the people he encountered in his travels. Thompson served as representative of the New Zealand National Art Gallery in London, from 1951 to 1966. Thompson died in England in 1971.

Eric Bloomfield has a tragic account of a 1926 subject of Thompson's portraiture in London here.

A selection of Thompson's wartime art can be viewed here.

The following Thompson cartoons are from the second issue of The Sketcher published August 1913. As well as providing all the cartoons for the magazine Thompson illustrated several of the advertisements.